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Kid-Friendly Wrestling
Type: Exercise   Skills: Physical & Motor SkillsPlay & CreativitySocial & Emotional Skills
We know that rough-and-tumble play is a normal part of development and can provide a healthy outlet for physical and imaginative play. Today’s activity demonstrates how an indoor wrestling game can promote rough-and-tumble play, rather than aggression. Kid-Friendly Wrestling
What We Learn
Motor development
Child-determined limits
Supply List
Comforter or large padded mat
Poster board
Egg timer
Bell or whistle
Before you begin, create a poster with clear rules that children must follow when engaging in rough-and-tumble play. Get feedback from the kids as to what rules should be included so they feel part of the process. Your poster might include rules such as: no kicking, no pulling hair, no biting, no punching, no scratching, and no choking. Display the poster and make sure you explain the rules so all the kids understand them.

Next, prepare your rough play area by clearly defining the space in which the rough play will occur. You may want to define the space by laying out a large cushion mat or comforter.

Begin wrestling play by having two kids get down on their knees at opposite ends of the mat or blanket. Have the children meet in the middle to begin wrestling. Make sure you closely observe to make sure children are follow the rules set forth on the poster. .

As long as the children are laughing and enjoying themselves and no one is physically harming anyone, let the play continue. You can set an egg timer so that the play continues for only a predetermined amount of time. If you sense anything might be getting out of hand or if any of the rules are being broken, ring a bell or blow a whistle or simply call a “time-out” to stop the play. Children should return to their corners of the blanket or mat before you decide when it’s safe to proceed.

Don’t force kids to engage in rough play. Only allow it as an outlet for those kids who express a need to engage in rough-and-tumble play. Remember, rough play can actually help children with gross motor development, self-control, and helping kids set limits.
Find Activities

Related Episode
Rough and Tumble Play
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Indoor Snowball Play
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